Author(s): Michael Palin
____________________________________ BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK THE SUNDAY TIMESBESTSELLER____________________________________ HMS Erebus was one of the great exploring ships, a veteran of groundbreaking expeditions to the ends of the Earth. In 1848, it disappeared in the Arctic, its fate a mystery. In 2014, it was found. This is its story. ____________________________________ 'Beyond terrific. I didn't want it to end.' - Bill Bryson ____________________________________ Michael Palin - Monty Python star and television globetrotter - brings the remarkable Erebusback to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. The ship was filled with fascinating people- the dashing and popular James Clark Ross, who charted much of the 'Great Southern Barrier'; the troubled John Franklin, whose chequered career culminated in the Erebus's final, disastrous expedition; and the eager Joseph Dalton Hooker, a brilliant naturalist - when he wasn't shooting the local wildlife dead. Vividly recounting the experiences of the men who first set foot on Antarctica's Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic ice, beyond the reach of desperate rescue missions, Erebusis a wonderfully evocative account of a truly extraordinary adventure, brought to life by a master explorer and storyteller. ____________________________________ 'Thoroughly absorbs the reader. . . Carefully researched and well-crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life.' - Sunday Times 'This is an incredible book. I couldn't put it down. The Erebusstory is the Arctic epic we've all been waiting for.' - Nicholas Crane 'Palin is a superb stylist, low-key and conversational, who skillfully incorporates personal experience. He turns up obscure facts, reanimates essential moments, and never shies away from taking controversial positions. This beautifully produced volume - colour plates, outstanding maps - is a landmark achievement.' - Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage 'I absolutely loved it- I had to read it at one sitting . . . Fascinating.' - Lorraine Kelly, ITV Lorraine 'Magisterial . . . Brings energy, wit and humanity to a story that has never ceased to tantalise people since the 1840s.' - The Times
~ This book is highly readable. We kiwis, especially, are linked with Antarctica - Mt Erebus, McMurdo Sound, the Ross Sea are place-names we grew up with. These names were bestowed from aboard HMS Erebus on it's maiden voyage to the Southern Ocean in 1840.Michael Palin knows a bit about travel and adventure and his fascination for this bit of history is obvious.
Monty Python sketches tended to sling off at the aristocracy but here he treats all concerned with equal measure.
Launched in 1826, James Clarke Ross took HMS Erebus on a quest to reach true magnetic south and John Franklin took it on the ill-fated quest to find the NorthWest Passage. The adventures they have are utterly riveting. Great story-telling from a true entertainer. David